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International News From the Field: China

China's economic pulse, gauged by electricity use and excavator sales, showcases growth. Driven by recovery and electrification trends, the largest manufacturing nation shows positive signs of recovery. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Mar 06, 2024

Electricity consumption is one of the barometers of national economic development in China. According to statistics provided by the China Electricity Council (CEC) Data Center, national electricity consumption in 2023 was 9.22 trillion kWh, an increase of 3.1% year over year. Electricity consumption of the secondary sector was 6.07 trillion kWh, up 6.5% year over year. Electricity consumption of the high-tech and equipment manufacturing industry of the manufacturing sector increased by 11.3% year over year, exceeding the overall growth of the manufacturing sector by 3.9%. From the perspective of the industry, electricity consumption of the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry increased by 28.7% in 2023, while electricity consumption of the photovoltaic equipment and components manufacturing industry increased by 76.8%. Electricity consumption in the automobile, computer/communications, and other electronic equipment manufacturing industries increased 16.7% and 10.5% year over year, respectively. Driven by the rapid development of new EVs, the power consumption of complete vehicle manufacturing of new EVs increased by 38.8% in the year-over-year comparison. The above electricity consumption readings may reflect the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industrial structure.

Additionally, the production and sales of excavators are another barometer of economic development. According to major excavator manufacturers and the China Construction Machinery Association, more than 12,300 excavators of various types were sold in January 2024, an increase of 18.5% year over year. This also means that excavator sales have finally reached positive ground after 12 consecutive months of shrinking year over year. From January to December 2023, China's major excavator manufacturers sold a total of 195,000 excavators, down 25.4% in the year-over-year comparison. It is worth noting that December 2023 showed the first positive year-over-year growth in the monthly sales of excavators in the domestic market, which continued until January 2024, with sales reaching more than 5,400 units, an increase of 57.7% year over year, and an increase of 33.7% month over month. Domestic sales recorded growth two months in a row, showing a positive trend in the offseason, contributing to the momentum of economic growth. Furthermore, along with environmental protection policies, excavator electrification has become the mainstream trend in the development of the industry and will bring a breakthrough in the market.

A few recently announced projects and investment news items are listed below for your reference:

  • Anhui Xudian Automotive Components will invest $136.7 million to build two new production lines.

  • Jiangsu Langsheng Drilling Machinery Co. will invest $27.6 million to produce petroleum machinery.

  • GAC Aion New Energy Automobile Co. will invest $228.4 million to manufacture BEVs with an annual output of 200,000 units in Changsha.

  • Huzhou Yifeng Automobile Parts Manufacturing Company Ltd. plans to invest $285.5 million to manufacture automotive stamping molds with an annual capacity of 1,000 units in addition to building a die-casting facility for mass production.

  • Air conditioning manufacturer Carrier will invest $13.89 million to build a production line for rotor compressors.

  • Bosen Walder Smart Equipment will invest $84 million to produce CNC machine tools with an annual output of 600 units and its accessories in Yantai.

  • Hebei Guger Bearing Manufacturing Company Ltd. will invest $19.44 million in the production of automotive bearings with an estimated annual output of 15 million units.

  • Shandong Xibeilai Machinery Equipment Company Ltd. will invest $13.89 million to produce rubber machinery and core components of robots.

  • Automotive drivetrain manufacturer Hycet will invest $445 million to produce DCT transmissions with an annual output of 200,000 units.

For more information, please contact Fred Qian at fredqian@AMTchina.org.

Fred Qian
General Manager - Shanghai Technology and Service Center of AMT
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